Kenya

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About

Landscape with Giraffes

  • Kenya is located in Eastern Africa
  • It borders Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, along with the Indian Ocean.
  • Although it is a developing country, Kenya has one of the strongest economies in Africa
  • The main languages are English and Swahili, which are both commonly spoken in the larger cities
  • Kenya consists of highlands, lowland desert, plains, and mountains, with elevations from sea level to as high as 5080 meters above sea level (Top of Mt. Kenya).
  • It has more than 40 different ethnicities in Kenya.
  • The main tribes in Kenya are the: Kamba, Kalenjin, Kikuyu, Kisii, Luo, Luyha, Masai, Meru, Swahili, and the Turkana. Some of which migrated from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and Western Africa.
  • The majority of the population is Christian, although thirty percent is Muslim. Some of the tribal peoples follow their own ancestral beliefs as well.
  • The main foods in Kenya are ugali, (a starchy porridge/ dough), chapatti (a fried wheat powder paste), bread, rice, beef, chicken, goat, and tilapia.

HISTORY

  • Kenya uses the Parliamentary Republic system
  • Kenya became independent from the United Kingdom in December of 1963       
  • The Great Rift Valley of Kenya was formed by the splitting of the earths crust more than 20 million years ago


FACTS

    • Kenya was named after Mount Kenya, the largest mountain in the country and the second largest in Africa

    • Most of the Kenyan population is protestant, followed by Roman Catholics, Indigenous believers and Muslim

    • Kenya’s government is the Parliamentary republic

    • Trade and finance is mostly done in East Kenya

    • Kenya is home to some of the oldest known records of the history of man kind

    • 20 million years ago the earths crust was split forming something called The Great Rift Valley of Kenya

    • In 2004 Professor Maathai, a Kenyan environmentalist was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, being the first African American woman to achieve this honor. Two of the world’s heritage sites are located in Kenya, which are Lake Turkana National Park and Mount Kenya National Park

    • Popular sports in Kenya are cricket, track and field, boxing, soccer, volleyball, rugby, tennis and field hockey

Avg. Costs

Cheetah

• There are a number of guest houses that offer private rooms both with shared bathrooms and self-contained rooms for between 1,000 KES and 4,000 KES per night

• In local bars, do not expect to pay more than around 150 KES for a bottle

• Golf green fees range from US$15-40 per round, plus a US$5-7 caddy fee

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Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Large Tusked Elephant Bull

  • It is always a good idea to have a guide with you when sightseeing around Kenya
  • Pickpockets and mugging have been known to occur often, even in daylight
  • At night it is best to take a bus or taxi if you are travelling in town
  • Violent criminal attacks such as car jacking and home invasions have been known to happen throughout Kenya, particularly in Nairobi
  • Try not to have your valuables or electronics visible such as cell phones, cameras, laptops and MP3 players

 



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Climate

Tropical Shanzu Beach

  • The climate in Kenya is usually hot and humid
  • Summer clothing is appropriate all year round
  • It is often cool at night and in the mornings
  • During April to June, the long rain season occurs
  • During October to December the short rain season occurs
  • It is the hottest between February and March and coolest in July to August

Places to See

Wildbeest Crossing in Masai Mara

Maasai Mara National Reserve

  • A large game reserve in south-western Kenya
  • It is named after the Maasai people (the traditional inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from far away: “Mara”, which is Maa (Maasai language) for “spotted,” an apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savanna, and cloud shadows that mark the area.
  • It is famous for its exceptional population of Big Cats, game, and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and wildebeest from the Serengeti every year

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Diani Beach

  • Diani Beach is a major beach resort, lying on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya, 30 km south of Mombasa.
  • The area is known for its coral reefs, the closely located Shimba Hills National Reserve and for its black-and-white colobus monkeys.
  • It has high-class restaurants, hotels and has two shopping centres. Diani Beach is also fast becoming popular as a global kite surfing location.

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Amboseli Park

  • It is located in Kajiado District, Rift Valley Province in Kenya.
  • The park is 39,206 hectares (392 km2; 151 sq mi)
  • The park protects two of the five main swamps, and includes a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semi-arid vegetation.
  • The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants.
  • Other attractions of the park include opportunities to meet Maasai and spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

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Mount Kenya National Park

  • Established in 1949, the park protects the region surrounding Mount Kenya.
  • Initially it was a forest reserve before being announced as a national park.
  • Currently the national park is within the forest reserve which encircles it.
  • A small portion of this park’s borders near heavy populations have electrified fences to keep the elephants out of the surrounding farmland.
  • Volcanic sediment in the surrounding region’s soil and the huge volume of fresh water coming down the slopes makes the area particularly favourable for agriculture.

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Hot Air Ballooning

  • Float over herds of game in the Masai Mara National Reserve.
  • The hour-long trip sets off at dawn and ends with a champagne breakfast. Almost all the lodges in the reserve offer this experience.

 

 

 

Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

  • The Sheldrick Wildlife Orphanage is located near Nairobi National Park.
  • This orphanage for Elephant Calves and Rhinos from all over Kenya was founded and still managed by Daphne Sheldrick, the widow of one of Kenya’s best known Game Wardens David Sheldrick.
  • Elephant calves orphaned by poaching are brought here from all over the country.
  • They receive extremely specialized treatment here, and literally receive personal care 24 hours a day from highly dedicated staff who become surrogate mothers to the calves.

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Mount Kenya

  • The highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro.
  • Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator
  • Mount Kenya is a stratovolcano created approximately 3 million years after the opening of the East African rift
  • Before glaciation, it was 7,000 meters tall (23,000 feet). It was covered by an ice cap for thousands of years. This has resulted in much eroded slopes and numerous valleys radiating from the centre.
  • There are currently 11 small glaciers. The forested slopes are an important source of water for much of Kenya.

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Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• The official languages are Swahili and English
– There are as many as 62 languages spoken in Kenya
– Mainly many different tribal languages
• Most common greeting is the handshake
– Close women may hug and kiss once on each cheeks instead of the common handshake
– People are addressed by their title
– There is a large emphasis placed on respect and Elders
– Wait until a personal relationship has been built until addressing them by first names or a nick name
• Kenyans are not very direct communicators
– They phrase things so that they are sensitive and like to develop business relationships
– Do not want to cause problems
– If they raise their voices it is most likely because they are not very happy

Business Etiquette:
• Handshakes are common in the business environment as well
o Handshakes for the first time will be short – long relationships will shake hands for longer
o Sign of respect to lower your eyes
o Men should wait for women to extend their hand
• Present and receive business cards with two hands
o Normally during initial greeting
• Make sure to take time to get to know who you are dealing with
o Let them decide when to start the business dealings

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